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New Edge of the Anvil: A Resource Book for the Blacksmith Paperback – September, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The is THE one book you need to get started as a blacksmith.

The New Edge of the Anvil is a revised and expanded edition of Andrews' earlier and most successful book. I urge all my students to buy, read, use and then reread this book. Clear words, excellent pictures, good explanations, tables, charts...all you need to encourage you to pick up a hammer and start hammering. The new sections include wonderful pictures of historical ironwork (go practice making some of these!) and then the directions that six contemporary smiths are taking.

I confess that I am one of these smiths, and that I have known the author for years. Because this is such a good resource, it is wonderful to be able to recommend it heartily without our friendship compromised. Buy it! -- Nol Putnam from The Plains, Virginia, USA, May 20, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Skipjack Pr; 1st edition (September 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879535092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879535091
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book because it was highly recommended by blacksmiths. One man proclaimed it the best beginners book for blacksmithing that he knew. I guess I missed the word 'beginners'. This book is built as a series of lessons that start out really simple and then build up. It seems to be written as a text book for a blacksmith's class, although, it is not put forth as such a book. And I think, if used as such in a class with an instructor it might be an excellent book.
The writing seemed slow and laborous to me. I found myself rushing over much of it. It begins with the basics; I mean like unbelieveably basic. I don't think that I was ever that basic. I already knew how to burn my hand on hot iron and smash my finger on the anvil.
There are some good explainations in here. But nothing that you won't find in some other blacksmithing book. (Except, maybe, how to build a smithing teepee.) There are a fair amount of drawings, but more wouldn't have hurt.
Then, suddenly, on page 127, they jump into work done by pros. And not just your average pros, mind you, but work by Samuel Yellin, Martin Rose, Elizabeth Brim, Fred Crist, Nol Putnum and others. Pretty stuff, I must admit, but not many smiths reach this level of expertise in their entire lifetime, let alone, after 125 pages. Nearly half of the book is this 'portfolio' of these guys. Pictures of their work. If I would have wanted an art book, I could have bought an art book. I would rather have seen more examples of technique. I sort of feel like I bought an advertisement (though, some of these folks are dead.)
Evidently, this book is aimed at the 'artist blacksmith'. Don't kid yourself into thinking, however, that you are going to start on page one and by page 125, you are going to be on the level of Elizabeth Brim.
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Format: Paperback
The New Edge of the Anvil is a revised and expanded edition of Andrews' earlier and most successful book. I urge all my students to buy, read, use and then reread this book. Clear words, excellent pictures, good explanations, tables, charts...all you need to encourage you to pick up a hammer and start hammering. The new sections include wonderful pictures of historical ironwork (go practice making some of these!) and then the directions that six contemporary smiths are taking. I confess that I am one of these smiths, and that I have known the author for years. Because this is such a good resource, it is wonderful to be able to recommend it heartily without our friendship compromised. Buy it!
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Format: Paperback
This book has been a constant guide and reference for me for the past fifteen years. Every time I look through it I find something of value that I missed or forgot. The quality of the text, phots and drawings in this new edition are of the highest quality and make the book a continual delight to read and review. If I could have but one book about blacksmithing, this would surely be the one.
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Format: Paperback
This is my 1st year to pursue blacksmithing. I have read a number of books on the subject, but I am not a seasoned smith.

I have seen recommendations for this book several places on-line, so I had high hopes. The book starts by identifying the tools, then covers a few basic projects, adds some metallurgy information, then we get a portfolio of beautiful works by Master Craftsmen. The section on performing a spark test using a grinder could have used some color photos. I would have liked a few more projects, and maybe a few more drawings.

The book was good as far as it went, although the edition that I received in 2006 had several awkwardly phrased sentences. It was almost as if the writer was interrupted in mid sentence, or went back to edit a sentence and left extra words in.

For my own library, I will keep this book, but I am still looking ...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am new to blacksmithing, and bought this book as my first reference based on high recommendations here and elsewhere. I have found the book to be written in a style that is confusing for me. The author clearly knows blacksmithing, and wants to tell about it, but his style is very non-linear, and does not deliver the information to me in a way I can understand and use.
I have tried just reading the book from the beginning, and I find myself feeling like the author is just telling me random tidbits, without regard for their context or their importance. It feels like wandering around a classroom and reading sections of the chalkboard after a good class- it is interesting, but makes me wish I had been there for the lecture.
I have also tried using the book as a reference, looking up a subject about which I have a specific question, like heat treating, and instead of being able to find the information I am looking for, I find myself caught up in a confusing ramble around the subject that doesn't quite tell me what I need to know.
The best use for the book for me has been as a random source of ideas. If I open the book to any page, I am likely to find a drawing or description of some useful tool or other nice piece I would love to make, as soon as I can find the knowledge and techniques I need- but I am going to have to find them in some other book.
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